Listen up, high school students. I know you’re busy. I was a high school student once too. Even though you’re busy, you should consider making time to do some volunteer work before you even think about college. You may not have considered some of the benefits.
- It looks great on a college application – Volunteer or community service work is one of the best ways to show college admission officers that you take initiative and are willing to work. In a competitive application environment, this can separate you from other applicants.
- It can give you an idea of what to pursue in college – Volunteer work is work after all. You can either pursue volunteer work in an area that might interest you as a career post-college, or end up working in types of jobs that you find you have no aptitude for or interest in, which could affect what you study in college.
- It exposes you to new people – in the course of you doing volunteer work, people will notice you. Perhaps they will be your supervisors or someone for whom you perform a service. You never know when one of these people will offer you a paying job, provide a reference or help you in some other way.
- It makes you appreciate your free time more – In the same way that having too much free time leads to boredom, having less free time makes you value it more highly.
- Your parents will cut you more slack – I’m a parent, and I know from personal experience that when I see my kids do something “good”, it makes me more likely to say yes when they ask for something later.
- It’s good – It never hurts to do something just because it helps someone else.
April is National Volunteer Month. You can start now and get a jump on the process.